Friday, December 12, 2008

Tecumseh Marathon Race Report

Short story:
It was snowing this year and the trails were icy.
Tiny icicle on Richard's beard:

I finished in 5:06, so I didn't beat my last year's time of 4:58. However, I am confident that I ran faster and harder this year but that I was just slower because of the trail conditions. Still had fun and will do it again next year.

Long story:
The race was on Saturday, December 6. Chris picked me up that morning around 6am, and I got to drinkin my traditional Monster drink- yummmmy. I always need one before a race. (What are your unique routines that you do before a race?)

Chris had been sick for awhile and was still sick on race day, but still wanted to attempt the race. Unfortunately I'm a half-germaphobe and so the hour and a half ride there was a little disturbing; listening to him hack up some mucus and all.
At one point we stopped at a gas station and right as he was about to get out of the car, he looked down and said, "what's that?". I looked at his pants and there was a huge glob of snot just sitting on his lap. That's disgusting. He must have spit it up some time and didn't realize it. I think I'm about to puke just typing about it, but you all need to know what I had to endure.

I hope you enjoyed that side back to running. We arrived around 7:30am, checked in, and then realized that we got some grandpa-looking white sweatshirt this year. I'm sorry- but the shirts are ugly.

It was snowy and freezing outside and I wished I had worn more clothes, or at least a winter hat.

Last weekend I happened to be in Meijer's hunting aisle buying my husband some earplugs and I saw some some hand warmers- AWWWESOME. My funky Raynaud's hands always freeze, even after 2 seconds of being outside, so I thought these suckers would be perfect.
Here are my ugly hands. It's always the middle finger that gets super white.

The 1 hr bus ride was warmer than last year and not as boring since some guy let me read his newspaper. Note to self: next year bring hand warmers and a newspaper.

We got there and everyone had to pee...I had to snap a shot.

So anyway, I got to running and I was going slow but it was fine. Like I said earlier, a lot of the trails were icy, especially on the downhill, skinny single track parts. You can call me a wimp, but a lot of times I was seriously scared going down those curves! If you have a bad slip on any of those patches, you're going down the little hill/cliff- no 2 ways about it. One time I just purposefully went downhill on my butt because I was too afraid of falling. Haha. How come no one died out there?

Now I realized I need to just fork out $30 to buy some YakTrax.

Chris was wearing his and said he didn't slip at all. Lucky.

I spent a good amount of the beginning miles with "Echoguy" aka Brian. I somehow left him after mile 13 while he was taking pictures of everyone. Sowwwwy- not intentional! I spent the second half with another guy, Mike, and then left him 3 miles before the finish- not intentional either!

I felt like I was running a better race than last year. It was easier for me to walk/run up the hills this time and I know I spent a HECK of a lot less time at the aid stations than last year- I just grabbed a cup and kept going. It was freaking awesome to be stuck behind a big group of 10 runners for awhile, annoyed because I couldn't pass, and then pass them all in while they stopped forever at the stations. I loved it.

(But speaking of aid stations- for some reason I wasn't in the mood to eat much during the race. Besides a few pretzals and fig newtons, I only ate one Gu and it was seriously like hard taffy! For the first time I liked eating/chewing it. The Gatorade was icy and it tasted like a good slushy.)

I only passed people during the last half of the race. I kept telling myself that if I can see them, I can pass them. I remember reading or hearing a long time ago some guy saying that if you happen to catch up to other runners, you better pass them; don't start running at their pace with them. The fact that you caught up with them means that you're faster than them, so keep on going forward. It seemed to work and help me mentally to keep on truckin.

This is SO DUMB but I seriously got annoyed at seeing two older, slower-looking women in front of me around mile 23 or something. I don't even train at all so I don't know why I expect to be faster, but I just felt like hands down- these two women should never have been in front of me. And before that, around mile 18, I saw another girl in front of me who said that Tecumseh was her first marathon ever. She shouldn't have been in front of me.

So anyway, those two situations were a slap in the face and made me realize that darnit, I might actually have to move my body more than once a week in order to place higher. :)

I ended up finishing 193/483 (top 39%) while last year I placed 241/454 (top 53%). I also finished 3rd in my division and got a nifty award out of it. (I only later realized there were only 6 other girls in my division, Ha!)

They had good soup, sandwiches, etc after the race. I always hate the way you feel after finishing- I was sooo hungry but couldn't eat anything. I just stood there with soup in my hand, not able to take a bite of it. Darnit- should have forced some more chewy Gu down my throat during the race.

Unfortunately I later saw Chris and learned that he had to cut it short early. He was too sick and dizzy. Even after having puked up all of that thick, nasty mucus, it was too much to finish. His friend Richard, on the other hand, finished his first "official" marathon at 5:24. Good job.

Overall, I enjoyed myself and look forward to next year's race.


Anonymous said...

Hey corredora... i really like the new layout of your blog. Nice job.

Clara said...

Thanks. Slowly but surely I'll learn new things.

Nick B said...

Nice job, Clara. For once, I know what you look like! I can't spot you at a race unless I know who to look for! You sure do elude to a 100 miler alot. Perhaps you should join me and sign up for BR!??! Very true about catching people and passing them. If you come up on them, you've gotta pass them or you are definitely slowing down. Also true that is very easy to hang out at aid stations and very true you can pass many people over the course of a race all because of the time wasted. Know what you want before you get there, grab it and keep your tail movin'! By the way, do you know about the new Fools 50K on April 5th? Happy Trails, Clara!

Clara said...

Hey Nick,

No, I hadn't heard of that April Fool's Day run before but it's definitely something to consider.

So I see BR or Mohican would be your first 100 miler, too. I don't know much about BR but from what I've heard, it seems like Mohican might be more technical running. Is that true? If so, I prefer Mohican. What do you think?